Bill Chappell, NPR, August 21, 2019
A South African court is restricting gratuitous displays of the country’s old apartheid-era flag, calling the banner “a vivid symbol of white supremacy and black disenfranchisement and suppression.”
The lawsuit was filed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which said displaying the apartheid flag amounted to hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment against black people.
“Judge Phineas Mojapelo of South Africa’s Equality Court delivered the ruling to restrict the use of the orange, white and blue flag of the former white minority regime,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports. “However, he said the move was not a complete ban, because use of the divisive flag associated with the apartheid years is protected by law for artistic, academic, journalistic and other purposes in the public interest.”
On Wednesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said the 1928 flag has become a global symbol of white supremacy and hatred “and is considered by most South Africans as a source of trauma and terror.”
In siding with the Mandela foundation, the Equality Court ruled that in addition to being racist, gratuitous display of the old flag “demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful” and to promote hatred against black people.